This Call Is Being Recorded For Training Purposes

call-meCall anyone these days and you get that  robotic reminder that “this call is being recorded for training purposes.” It’s so standard that you don’t really register that the message has happened.

Heck, I’m so busy jabbing my index finger on the number zero, waiting for the magic moment when my call will get placed in line for a human, that I go into a trance when I need to make a 1-800 call.

If I hear a robot asking me to explain what my call is about I can spend five minutes trying variations of asking for, “help”, “customer service”, and “supervisor” before going ape-shit. I’ll tell you what my call is about! My call is about TALKING TO A PERSON WITH A PULSE MOTHERTRUCKER!!

Finally, I’ll hear the words I’ve waited 12 minutes to hear, “we are transferring your call.”

My reward is the smooth sounds of vintage Yanni and I put my cell phone on speaker as I carry on with my morning, waiting for excellence in customer service.

I read that while on hold our calls are being recorded. Yes. It made me wonder what sort of training manual I was contributing to because the really, really good stuff  happens while I am on hold.

While on hold:

• I’ve had conversations with my mother about which sperm donor profile I should order on-line
• I’ve gone to the bathroom 15 gajillion times
• I’ve discussed, at great length, lawn care with people taking care of the yard
• I’ve bathed, changed, fed, burped, and read books to my son
• I’ve frantically searched my house for my social security card/ credit card/ wallet/ keys/ coffee

These recordings are compressed and stored on hard drives and listened to. Somewhere in Florida there is a guy in a cube fast forwarding through my call about the mold I found on the cap of a jug of juice. And because these companies are paid to listen for keywords like, “wow!”  he has to stop to listen to the fantastic hold moment I gifted him:

“Oh WOW! Oh holy MOTHER of WOW!!!!! That is the biggest poop EVER!! WOW!!!!! Are you kidding me with this?!!”

I’ve had some pretty shitty calls with customer service before and only just recently have started reminding the people on the other end of the phone, “you know this call is being recorded, right?” PAUSE. And then a total attitude change. No kidding.

This is a Goonie moment for us, people. These are OUR recordings. Take them back! Remind the robots that you know about quality assurance and do your part to assure it.

And if you are in a good mood place your phone next to the T.V. the next time you are on hold so the folks in the cubes can catch up on their stories. It’s all about random acts of kindness, people.

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  1. Dusty says:

    You’ve opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me. I will never be on hold the same way again.

  2. Or you could hold the phone up to a horror movie and see what real customer service is about – if the police don’t show up, then they don’t care about their customers.

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  3. HereWeGoAJen says:

    That is a very good idea. I shall remember this.

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  4. Stephanie says:

    I honestly never thought about the recording while being on hold. Oh the wondrous things they heard coming from my phone calls!

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  5. HeatherS says:

    This was some true education. I have to pass this info ALONG. Here’s my tip: One word that robot agent usually knows is “representative.” So when it keeps asking me how it can help me, I keep saying “representative.” It usually gets me to hold quicker than trying to talk to the “lady” who can’t understand what the eff I’m asking for.

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  6. Darla says:

    Oh oh oh this is BRILLIANT!

  7. Dude, I shudder to think about the kinds of things that have been recorded on this end. Oh no. I’m so naive. Just figured recording didn’t start til a live person got on to talk to me. Which almost never happens.

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  8. I never thought to remind them that they are being recorded…pure genius!!

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  9. JW Moxie says:

    I’ve just been edjumacated. I usually get great customer service, but on the rare occasion when I don’t, I’m pulling this bit of knowledge out of my back pocket.

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  10. UnknownMami says:

    I’m so using, “this call is being recorded” as a weapon. In your face bad customer service!

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  11. Classic NYer says:

    You know, sometimes I sing along to the bad hold music… that means that someday when I’m famous, some customer service guy will have black market access to rare recordings of Classic NYer singing along with vintage Yanni, Natalie/Nat Cole style and will make ridiculous money on ebay. That’s what’s up!

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  12. Riley says:

    Now having just started a job in a call center, I know that our system only records the time you are talking to us. Also, we are very aware that our jobs depend on the quality of the calls (which are recorded).

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    • Dresden Plaid says:

      I’m totally going to call you and test you out.
      And high-five on your call center’s stance on not recording calls on hold. If only the other centers would follow that lead!

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      • Becki says:

        I’d like to say this is probably standard practice across all call centers. I currently work in a call center and cannot think of any reason why a customer on hold would be recorded. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense as those recordings would take up server space that could be used for other things.

        If customers are recorded, it’s probably only kept for a short time anyway and it’s highly unlikely that you would be heard anyway. Our Quality Assurance guys don’t listen to every single call, there’s too many of us and only 3 or 4 of them :)

  13. Amy says:

    The things I have said or done while on hold… Namely the comments I have made while waiting for ‘service’.

    Once the recorded call was my savior though. I called the bank asking for ONE ancient statement to be looked up, photocopied and sent to me. Imagine my surprise when ALL of my statements from the past 4 years were copied and sent to me to the tune of $300 some dollars!

    Thank Gawd for that recording pointing out what a moron the guy who took my call was :)

  14. Patience says:

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  15. TB says:

    LOVE this! In my job I deal with Mortgage companies all of the time, constantly making phones calls and I am constantly being told they don’t have any notes on their end that I made certain phone calls to them. Nothing in their notes that I called. One phonecall they will say all of my paperwork is in and then the next phone call I make they will say I am missing papers. I will definitely use the reminder and throw it all back on them! (Not to mention to ask for the corrrect spelling and time/date of the person I am speaking with….”Your name is Ken Smith? How do you spell that? K – e – n S- m – i – t – h. Okay let me read that back to you to make sure I got it right”……. ;-)

    Thank you!


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